Tag Archives: provision

Who Took My Blankie?

My very own

Just recently I had a passionate conversation and I wished I had recorded it, however, I will do my best to repeat the magnitude of what was said.

We are born.  Not by our own choice, but God’s.  We come into this world very unaware of our surroundings.  No clue perhaps in those first few moments of taking our first breaths.  Then as if out of nowhere there is a cutting.  A sudden revelation of a separation takes place.  The life line which you had been connected to for nine or so months suddenly is gone.

Now of course in those early stages of life we don’t actually have those thoughts running through our heads as birthing is a natural process which has been happening in this earth for a very long time.  For those who have anxiety at the moment you can probably close your eyes and imagine that whole beginning scene.  Those with separation issues could also relate.  What you once knew as comfort and connection is suddenly gone. Taken away.

So let’s take this to the next level.  As children we often cling to things such as stuffed animals, dolls or the ever so popular blankie.  These items become very important to us in early life.  You share EVERYTHING with this object, things you probably never told anyone else except for maybe your imaginary friend if you had one around.  I remember my son had a favorite teddy bear.  He went every where my son went.  If it was time for Teddy to have a bath, my son would stand by the washer and dryer until the whole process was complete.  He was clearly attached.

For the purposes of this discussion I am going to use the representation of the Blankie as I move through this next phase.  The Blankie is going to represent things we cling to in life as a comfort: food, family, friends, secret sins, drugs, alcohol and the likes.  Anything which we choose to go to instead of God.  As with the Blankie, we develop a relationship with our source of comfort.  It’s the one thing we know that will never let us down, it does not have the ability to.  We know when no one else understands us, our Blankie will.  It will comfort us.  Keep us close.  Never rejecting us.  Always a true friend and confidante.

What happens when God asks us to let go of the Blankie so that He can be our comfort, our true friend and confidante?  Of course!  We panic.  We cling all the tighter to our Blankie because a fear rises up in us.  How can we trust anyone else with our Blankie?  It knows us inside and out and would never hurt us or reject us or leave us hanging.  How do we know we will find comfort after we let go of the Blankie?

It all comes down to trust.  A trust beyond all thinking.  A trust so strong you have no choice but to cling to it instead of your false comforts.  For you see, a Blankie is just a false representation of love and trust.  In the end, you can’t take it with you.  It will be burned up with the things of the past.  You will step into heaven and God will be there.  Not your Blankie,–your false comfort.

God is calling us to trust Him with EVERYTHING.  Just like we shared our entire early stages of life with said Blankie, God wants you to choose to trust Him.  He wants to be your comfort.  Your security.  You source of Acceptance.

Some of us are still clinging to our Blankies.  We are at a point in our adult lives where we are afraid of being hurt and disappointed.  We don’t want to give up the very thing which has been there all along.  Drugs, alcohol, secret sins, food, bad relationships and various other addictions are not our security.  They are not our comfort.  They are not to be trusted.  Only God. God is the only one who will never let you down.  He will be there from the beginning until the end.  You can take Him where ever you go.  You can share every secret with Him.

One final thought.  In the beginning, we are not the ones who get to choose who cuts the cord.  When it comes to our false comforts we don’t have to do anything but trust God to take them and heal us from the aftermath.  We run around this big earth thinking we have to do more.  Thinking we are the ones who have to fix ourselves before we can go to God.  Those are lies.  God will take your Blankie.  All you have to do is believe.

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Dear Lord, Help me today to trust you with my Blankie.  I choose today to trust you with my Blankie.  I believe You can be trusted.  I believe You are my source of comfort and security.  Lord let me learn that the past is behind me and You are right in front of me, waiting to heal me.  I thank You Lord for removing those things in my life which are not of You.  I pray for all those who feel stuck in their sin or addictions that they made find true comfort in You alone and be healed from their wounds.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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I Can Hear the Rain, Even in the Drought

1 Kings 18:44

Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”
provision
Ever feel like it’s never going to happen?  Like life will never get better. Things will just always be like they are right now.  You cannot see any hope.  There is no light at the end of the tunnel.  Then, God shows you something you cannot deny and you are filled with joy and expectancy.  It’s funny how one little tiny glimmer of hope can spark a whole new lease on your life.
Here in Muskegon, Michigan we have been looking for revival since 2009.  We had a 54 day revival at the end of 2009 beginning of 2010 and then it simmered down to just a few of us.  Then a man came in sent by God from Australia and we saw that glimmer of hope once again, yet we are still few in numbers.  Recently we have been studying 1 Kings and the cloud the size of a mans first.  This story portraits a time of drought and famine.  A moment in the lives of people where there seemed to be no provision for three years.
I don’t know about you, but three years seems like a long time of waiting for the rain.  What excitement it must have been to see the hope of rain coming to the land.  This is how it is with so many of us.  We are in drought times in our lives and we just cannot see how it will  ever get any better.  All we are focused on is what is right in front of us and we are not looking for our cloud in the distance.  When we are staring drought right in the face we cannot  hear the rain in the distance.
I encourage each of us to look for our own personal cloud.  It’s there. God promises us His provision.  Let us learn how to seek His face in our drought seasons.  I know for me when I was separated for a time from any source of a spouse I was hoping for a change but never saw God working in the distance.  He was connecting all of the dots from the moment He created me, it just took me a season of drought for Him to bring me to a place of abundance in this area of my life.
Can you see your cloud?  Surely it is there in the distance.  Begin rejoicing and thanking God for the coming rain.  Be excited for the things God is going to do in just a short while.  As you find yourself rejoicing and praising God, you will become uncontrollably happy and begin to expect good things to come your way.  This is a challenge to change your thinking, if you dwell on drought then drought it will be, however if you lift your eyes and see the cloud of provision, it will come.

Weathering the Storm

Proverbs 10:25

When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
As snow storm after snow storm hits Michigan this winter, I am paused for a moment to reflect on personal storms in my life.  Sometimes they are predictable and we know in advance what to expect while other times the storms just invade without notice of their arrival until we are sucked in and tossed about.  So many times I do not even realize there is a storm until I am drenched is some ugly situation that has gotten out of my control, well that’s the way it used to be before I decided to let God direct my path.
I could get myself in so much trouble before I let God have control of my life that I could make my own head spin.  Now that I allow God to protect me from the storms that He can already see, life seems so much more easier to withstand.  Why had I not let Him be in control before?  Simple, I thought I could handle everything on my own.  I wanted to fight my own battles since usually I was the one who had gotten myself into trouble in the first place.
How many times do we fight unnecessary battles  How many times do we scream at God because the storm in too big when if we would have let go right at the first sign of any clouds we would not have had to endure so much pain.  How do we get to the place where the storms seem to be nothing but a cloud or two passing by in the night?  Surrender.  Total, complete surrender.  Being secure in the knowledge that God follows through on His promises.  He wants us to be at peace.  He wants us to prosper.  Because of the death of His Only Son, we are covered by grace and God can’t even see our sin because of the continual flow of blood.
I think that perhaps I have gotten to this place of peace in my life because I am secure in my God.  I trust Him.  I follow His lead.  I surrender with my eyes focused on Jesus so that I will not be drawn to the storm.  I am at rest in my soul.  I look to Jesus for provision, acceptance, love and peace.  Without Him I would be tossed like a boat in a stormy sea with no direction, wondering why on earth God was even keeping me here..
Are you in a storm right now?  Having trouble finding your way?  Then look up, give up and let God show you the peace He has for you even in the middle of the storm.  Be willing to surrender any issues going on in your life right now.  Be confident in His love for you, after all He did give up His Son so that you could have life and life more abundant!

Got Luggage?

Psalm 55:22

Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
luggage
So, you are standing at the terminal looking for your luggage.  You know what your baggage looks like, you can identify it right as soon as it comes around on the revolving circle.  You pick it up and lug it with you, wondering why you brought so much stuff.  Why is it so heavy?  You can’t set it down anywhere for fear of someone taking it, so you just keep dragging it around with you.  Now, that’s life as we know it let’s look at the spiritual side of luggage….
We all come from different walks of life and as we meander through this world we pick things up.  We carry with us past hurts and memories.  We place in our suitcases survival things just in case something goes wrong.  We know that if any situation all it gets too tough we will just take our luggage and run as fast as we can in the other direction.  What about all the unnecessary things we take with us, like self-blame, insecurities, doubts and fears?
When we come to know Jesus we should be letting go of all of these things, however, we often choose to still hold onto some things just in case it something goes wrong.  We try to hide our real feelings in the suitcases and put a smile on pretending we are letting go when in reality we cling to our baggage because we are afraid God will not provide or He will take our most valuable things away from us.  If we are turning our lives over to God then we should be able to fully trust in His provision, right?
Well, it’s not always that easy.  It took me three years to finally set my baggage down and walk away from it knowing in my heart of hearts that God was and would always provide for my every need. Are you ready to let your luggage loose?  Can you feel yourself wanting to walk away from the fears, pains and injuries from the past?  I found that when I was finally able to let go I could clearly keep my eyes on Jesus and not have to watch my luggage any more.  I did not have to worry about what was around the next corner or where my provision would come from.  I could focus on the next steps God had for me because I no longer lived in fear of losing my luggage.
Maybe it is time for you to come to terms with what you are carrying around. Are you willing to give your luggage to Jesus?

Joy is in the Giving Up

Psalm 30:5
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Do you see the shadows in the photo above?  Can you make a guess and be almost 100% sure that they are shadows from a tree?  Does your mind confirm this deduction?  Well as I pondered this picture, I looked at it from a faith stand point, and based on some amazing recent events, I think I can wrap my brain around this point I am trying to make.  If you were to see this photo in a museum you would just take it for granted that is a shadow picture and perhaps not think any more about it, but let’s look at it from a Christain stand point for a moment.

We know that God exists.  We know He does great wonders and healings.  We trust Him to work in our lives, yet we do not see Him.  At times we can feel His presence or witness Him working among us, but not a physical appearance of God.  This is how we should see God, like the shadows.  Even though we cannot see the tree in this photo, we know there is a tree, why cannot we not apply this more often to they way God is?

If we acknowledge there is a God that we cannot see, then why sometimes can we not believe in Him when it just the shadows we see.  If we see the shadows (the healings, the blessings, the miracles) then why do we not fully believe God for all things?  No matter what God is doing, He leaves His shadow so that He may be glorified.  As Christians we should be walking in His shadow knowing that He is right in front of us all along.  This was confirmed to me just yesterday, when it should have been with me all along.

I have two books waiting to be published, yet I have been waiting on God for the provision to get them started.  As I have been waiting, I began to feel as if it never was going to happen.  I also thought the funds would come from somewhere else and I had this all planned out for God.  Last night a man handed me $600 to publish my books and another man from across the world is covering the rest of the expenses.  I really thought the funds would come from my new position at work and the possibility of bonuses, which just did not seem to be happening.  It was if I walked outside of the shadow of God and was trying to  do things on my own.

Just like my dentures, it took me stepping out in faith and right back into the shadow of God for God to move.  I cannot tell you how often my blessings have come when I have surrendered it all, grabbed the hand of God and walked in His shadow, letting Him do all the provision.  So now, I am counting on God again for transportation (my poor van is old) and I am just letting it go.  As before I would fret because my credit is bad and how was I going to afford it, now instead I eagerly await car shopping with my dad tomorrow, knowing the God has already provided for me as I stand in His shadow.

 

What Are You Doing?

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Boy is that verse a hard one to do!  Are we always joyful? Can we really be thankful in ALL circumstances?  Do we truly believe in our hearts that Jesus has our backs all of the time?  If we have set ourselves apart from the rest, then we should be able to say yes to all those questions.  Even if we encounter sorrow, we know joy will come in the morning because God has promised us that:

 Psalm 30:5
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

I feel as though being thankful is a choice we have the authority to take control of in our lives.  The more we are thankful the more doors of opportunity are opened.  If we thank God each morning for life we open the door for blessings.  When we thank Him for our housing or cars we open the door for upgrades because we are already thankful for what we have received.  This differs from begging God to give us new things because we are already grateful for our current provision.  I think we lack due to a lack of gratitude towards God for the provision He gives daily to us.  We often take for granted the little things and when we have a multitude of little things we are not grateful I feel we close the doors to the bigger possibilities God has in store for us.

Let me make this a bit more on the personal side so as not to offend anyone with this particular blog.  Take for instance my trailer.  I loath it on most days with its’ missing walls, holes in the floor, ripped carpet, black residue on the ceilings from the three years of using kerosene and this list could go on. I mumbled and grumbled every day to God that my daughter and I did not deserve to live like this.  I tried getting things organized and cleaned up only to end up with pneumonia.  Yes, it was my choice to not take care of things daily, yet I was not living a normal life.  I was trying to put food on the table, work full time and meet the needs of my drug addicted husband.  There was no time for normal things like housework.

About six months ago, I finally stopped crying about the trailer and decided to perhaps pray to God for a new home and He clearly showed me that I needed to be grateful for the roof over my head, as I was not living in a card board box or my car.  He began to show me things as I grumbled about sleeping on the couch because my waterbed broke and the bed I bought was too uncomfortable.  He taught me to be grateful for little things, such as solid roof over my head.  As I began to change my thinking, I started to thank God instead of crying out for a new home.  Now we have the prospect of a new home right around the corner all because I chose to be grateful and not bitter anymore.

I took me to find the joy in the sorrow and the gratefulness in my heart to see God is a God of provision even if it does not seem like the right place to be at the moment.  I had to get over the “I deserve it” attitude before God could begin to make a new home happen for us. I know wake up thankful for my couch and the roof over my head.  Yes I still get frustrated when some times the light in the bathroom decides it needs some prodding before turning on, but now I just close my eyes and visualize the new bathroom light I will be turning on soon.

Tomorrow’s blog:  Thankfulness continues…….

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble

Genesis 28:15
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Numbers 11:1
[ The People Complain ] Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

Psalm 55:17
Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice.

Brace yourself, this lesson might be a little harsh as I know it was a bit for me.  When one realizes that their actions are seen and heard by God, our jaw drops and we shrink back from what we just did and quickly ask for repentance.  Today a dear friend of mine said this to me and reminded me that while in the desert places, God is watching and listening to see where He can help. If all we are doing is mumble, grumble stuff, how is He suppose to help us?  Complaining does not give God a canvas to work with.  In fact, it probably delays the process so to speak because God cannot move in an unwilling vessel and what if He is trying to move us out of the desert but we are not listening to hear above our own complaints?

I have been in this spot so many times.  During my childhood while my parents were constantly at battle with each other, yelling an screaming, I was unhappy.  Beer cans flying through the air.  The empty threats.  Some of you know where I have been.  Not a peaceful moment, even when one of them was absent from the home the other was complaining.  Now granted I was just a child and really did not know how to reach out to God but sure enough all my friends knew how it was at my house because I would tell them.

Teenage years, did not want to cry out for help of any kind, because I had told God that I had everything under control  The smoking, the drinking and the dating.  Yup!  I knew it all.  Did not complain much at this stage but it is what set me up for the next stage of my life, marriage.  By not listening to God, I ended up making my own bad choices, which I now see God is working for good, yet I struggled for a long time.  I had stopped the party scene when I became pregnant with my son, quit smoking when I knew my body had had enough and I walked out of a destructive marriage, yet none of these things could I have done without God pulling me through it.

Once I realized I truly needed God, things began to be easier to take.  I knew He had control.  I believed in the master plan.  I had no doubts, so I thought until I realized my grumblings when they were pointed out to me.  How could I possibly still be complaining after all God had and is still doing for me?  Where is my trust that He will lead me into the Promise Land?  I want a new home so badly, yet I know in time it will come to pass.  Things sometimes are frustrating with work, yet I know my job is there because God led me to where I am.  I know it is human nature to grumble, especially in todays society where the thought process becomes: we deserve it so why don’t we have it?

The “I deserve” was a short battle for me.  Directly after separating from my husband I felt a freedom I had never known before.  There was money where there wasn’t before.  My short leash was gone and I could go to the grocery store and not have to hurry home or get a phone call of panic because I had taken too long.  I grabbed all of the free time and luxuries I wanted because I felt I deserved them when in reality, I did not.  This mentality did not last long because in my crying our for God, He truly showed me that He would provide for me and He proved it.  He began to replace all which the enemy had stolen and more.  I am now beginning to see what really matters in life and it is not things or money.

Now as the days toward the Promise Land are just around the corner, we must learn to kick our complaining to the curb!  God is in control and we need to accept this for truth.  If all we are doing is whining and complaining and not letting God know our needs, how is He suppose to help out in our current situations?  Instead, praise Him in the storms.  Delight in the good things He has given to us.  Show Him love with our worship.  Stop dragging our feet as we enter into the church and enter into His gates with praise and thanksgiving.  Let God know we are anxious for what He has next for us.  Begin to strengthen the relationship by honoring Him and bringing to Him the best of who we are.

While we are focusing on Him, this world and its’ demands will quickly fade and soon we no longer will be grumbling about this or that.  We will be so in tune with God, we can close our eyes and know provision is right in front of us.  I urge us all to journal our praises for one week and see if the rest of our week was better than last week.  Sing to Him when no one else is around.  I am sure I look like a fool half the time when I am driving because sometimes I get so lost in worship I forget where I am going.  (thank goodness for angels)  When we are showing our thanks to God, it is hard to be spiteful or snippy.  It is more difficult to be mean or snide.  It is harder still to contain our joy at times!  God is good and He loves to hear our praises.